Hoarding is a mental disorder that causes people to accumulate a large number of items that they don’t need or use. Experts estimate that between 5 and 14 million Americans have this condition. However, only 10% of them seek treatment.
The reasons why people hoard are often misunderstood. Still, the consequences can be devastating, especially concerning public health and safety. When hoarding becomes an issue in your life or someone you know, memory care living in Henrico, VA, can help. Here are five ways these communities can assist residents with hoarding issues:
Getting Rid of Clutter
When you or your loved one is living in a memory care community, the team can help with the physical aspects of hoarding. They will clean the home, removing items that no longer have value or use. They can also help you decide what to do with these items—donating them, throwing them away, or giving them to someone who can use them.
They will work with family members and other caregivers to ensure everyone is on board with these decisions. That way, there are no surprises later on when someone comes back from vacation only to find someone has cleaned out their house while they were gone!
A memory care Living community is an ideal place for a person with hoarding issues. The care team can help you set limits on what your loved one can keep, and they’ll be there to help when it’s time to get rid of items. They also assist with daily tasks that may be difficult for someone with hoarding issues, such as cleaning and laundry.
Setting limits on what your loved one keeps will help prevent her from feeling overwhelmed by all the clutter in the home. Take this process slowly so your older loved ones don’t become resistant or angry about having less stuff around their houses (or apartments). Ask family members outside of town or friends who live far away to donate items for other people in need (like clothes at Goodwill).
Designating a Place for Everything
One of the best ways memory care living communities can help with hoarding issues is by establishing routines. Residents with a routine will feel more comfortable and secure in their environment. This can be especially helpful for those residents who previously lived alone and had no set schedule or daily activities before moving into a caring community.
An excellent way to begin this process is by identifying their interests and ensuring you include them in their daily schedule. For example, if your loved one enjoys reading or watching television, then make sure these activities occur at least once daily. The same goes for physical activity. Try taking your parent out for walks in the neighborhood or around the building.
Protecting the Person’s Privacy
To protect residents’ privacy, memory care living communities will often use a code word or phrase to indicate that a resident is hoarding. This can help team members identify and remove items that risk the resident’s physical health without making them feel embarrassed or ashamed.
Encouraging Proper Nutrition
Making sure that residents are eating the right foods and drinking enough water is another important aspect of memory care living. While some people with dementia may not be able to cook or prepare their meals, others may still want to do so. In either case, team members must help residents follow a healthy diet plan so they get all the nutrients and vitamins they need.